President of Georgia optimistic after gas talks in Turkey

The President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili considers negotiations in Turkey progress positively. "Although, the Shah Deniz gaz pipeline will be the major and strategic source for Georgia's gas supply, we have to look for other sources of energy supply as well," he said. 
"During our three day negotiations a free trade agreement was high on agenda. For Georgia it means the new big market to open. The first steps are made towards liberalization of trade. 

Two years ago when I met Turkish businessmen, they complained about trade problems with Georgia. Yesterday, they held a completely different position - their attitude towards the investment climate in Georgia has dramatically improved, and that really impressed me. 

Our main goal in the energy sector was to organize all of our internal networks in such a way - and this depended on us - as to virtually prevent the internal problems from appearing. This concerned eradicating corruption, increasing efficiency, organizing the proper internal networks In general, the Energy Ministry has resolved this issue and fulfilled this task which depended completely on the Georgian Government. 

The second issue concerns where Georgia is going to get gas, an external issue of our supply sources. Of course, we are here dealing with this issue too, the prime minister [Zurab Noghaideli] is going to Baku regarding this question within the next few days, we are working on this issue in every direction. I am generally optimistic after the talks on this topic here although there may be many technical issues in this regard. The main thing that we need to realize is that Georgia should never be dependent on just one supplier; we have to make every effort to avoid the dependence on one supplier, one source. As all countries do, our government works with several markets and looks for best opportunities to secure country's energy supply. The main supplier will be Shah Deniz, but if any problems occur, we will be ready to count on other sources. 

Important is also gas price. Globally, the price on gas is increasing, but that shouldn't reflect on our citizens and their families. We have a lot of work to do in this direction. Our challenge is to secure every person in Georgia during this winter. This is a matter of principle to me, and we have done a lot of work for that. Our negotiations were not easy, but optimistic and we have good cooperation with Turkey and Azerbaijan. We have to defend our fundamental position and be pragmatic and flexible in the meantime. I think we manage ," said President Saakashvili.

Press Office
of the President of Georgia

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